GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas -- Alex Polston hit a two-run homer and drove in three runs, and the Cleburne Railroaders opened the series with a 6-3 win over the Texas AirHogs at AirHogs Stadium on Thursday night.
Polston’s two-run home run extended Cleburne’s lead to three in the ninth inning, and after falling behind 3-0, the Railroaders won when trailing after six innings for the first time this year.
The AirHogs scored twice in the fourth and again in the fifth, but Geraldo Valentin hit his third homer of the year -- a two-run shot -- in the sixth.
Polston tied the game with a sacrifice fly before Blake Grant-Parks, in place of previously-ejected Nick Van Stratten, put Cleburne ahead with two-out RBI single.
Casey Upperman worked around a leadoff double with a flyout and two strikeouts in the eighth, and Winston Abreu tied the American Association lead with his 16th save after a 1-2-3 ninth.
Previously when trailing after six innings, the Railroaders were 0-35.
Mitch Abeita reached all four times, finishing 3-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored, and Cleburne’s 7-8-9 hitters went a combined 4-for-9 with three RBI and four runs.
Alberto Rodriguez, who entered the night with the lowest ERA among qualified right-handed pitchers in the league, gave up just two earned runs over seven innings and picked up his first win since June 28.
Game 2 of the four-game series is scheduled for Friday. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. and can be heard live on the Railroader Radio Network with coverage starting 20 minutes prior.
Cleburne returns home for a three-game series with the Lincoln Saltdogs on Monday. Good seats are still available and can be purchased at www.railroaderbaseball.com or by visiting the
box office located near the main gate at The Depot.